Litanies & Prayers

Go out in joy

A litany for worship adapted from St. Francis' "Canticle of the Sun" and related Scripture texts

by Ken Sehested

What is it you wish to know, oh mortal one?

Do you think you must ascend to the highest heaven or descend to the deepest pit?

Do you not know that Wisdom has pitched a tent in your midst? Read more ›

Let gladness swell your heart

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 107

by Ken Sehested

Listen, all you who stagger in desert waste,
disgraced by gloom’s unremitting groan, dragged
daily to death’s gate and the sea’s drowning flood.

The Blessed One stands at the gate of plenty.
The Beloved waits by the well of refreshment. Read more ›

For that Bright Land

A litany for worship inspired by Romans 8:18-27

by Ken Sehested

We enter this house of meeting with lips pursed in praise, voicing rejoicing, hearts heaving to the rhythm of mercy and the beat of beatitude.

’Cause we woke up this morning with our minds stayed on freedom. And stayed on Jesus.

Stayed on freedom, about which politicians banter but secretly fear. Read more ›

Wonderfully made

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 139

by Ken Sehested

Merciful One, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you hear my thoughts from far away.

Encompass me with your Presence, and lay your hand on my heart.

You know all my comings and goings, and I am never out of Your sight. Read more ›

Justification by faith

A litany for worship inspired by Romans 5:1-8

by Ken Sehested


Fear not the times when your back is against the wall.

The seed of faith already buried deep in your soul Read more ›

Loosed for life and love’s consent

A litany for worship inspired by Acts 2:42-47

by Ken Sehested

Following the dramatic response to Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost, the text reports that the newly-formed People of the Way devoted themselves to listening and learning, to lingering in each other’s presence, to potluck dinners, and to prayer—with praise and pintos, songs and salads, received and given ’round the Bountiful Table.

Hands and hearts, bound together, loosed for life and Love’s consent.

The Promised Pardon freeing furrowed brow and anxious gaze alike. Read more ›

Dry bones

A litany for worship inspired by Ezekiel 37:1-14

by Ken Sehested

’Neath the canyons of vengeance
      lies the valley of bones.
Many bones. Dry bones.
Bleached by remorse and hope’s demise.

Child of Eden’s failure and Noah’s fortune.
Read more ›

Fear of the Lord

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 111:10 and Mark 1:21-28

by Ken Sehested

The psalmist proclaims: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Who can imagine a fear-mongering, molesting God?

Quite a few, as it turns out, which is why faith appears so distasteful, disturbing, dreary and dreadful, despondent, maybe even devilish. Read more ›

You shall also love the stranger

A litany for worship, using texts on immigrants

by Ken Sehested

Gracious One, who jealously guards the lives of those at every edge, we lift our heavy hearts to your Mercy.

We live in a fretful land, anxious over the ebbing away of privilege, fearful that strangers are stealing our birthright.

Aliens breaching our borders. Read more ›

Martin Luther King's birthday commemoration

A litany for worship

by Ken Sehested

Admiring Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is not the same as being captured by it. Too many find it possible to respect the man but relinquish the mission.

It has become too easy to revere the dreamer but renege on the dream.

So let us now recall the deep roots of that vision as spoken in ages past: Read more ›